The war between Iraq and Kuwait began in the year 1990. This war started after Iraq’s forces entered Kuwait by force. During the conflict, Iraq’s soldiers raped, robbed, and shot at the resisting Kuwaitis (King, 1991). In the attacks, some Kuwaitis managed to escape to the neighbouring countries unharmed.
We will write a custom Research Paper on Role of United Arab Emirates in Iraq-Kuwait War specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Before the war started, the US was no longer engaged in foreign military affairs after its devastating loss in the Vietnam War (King, 1991). However, the events of the war between Kuwait and Iraq forced the US to come to the defence of Kuwait in an operation named Operation Desert Shield. This operation involved several countries. Among those who supported this operation were some of the Arab countries who believed that the Iraqis expansion was a threat in the Middle East (King, 1991).
Before the war started, UAE’s actions in the Middle East contributed to the Iraq-Kuwait conflicts during the early 1990s (Grossman, 1995). As such, Kuwait and UAE were disregarding OPEC’s regulations by flooding the world markets with cheap oil. By doing so, the two countries lowered the oil prices in the world markets.
During this time, the Iraq’s economy was still unstable following the Iraq- Iran War. Therefore, Iraq needed to sell its oil in the world markets at a higher price to sustain its economy. However, UAE and Kuwait’s actions prevented Iraq from selling its oil at a higher price hence worsened their economic situations.
Following this, Saddam Hussein was forced to attack Kuwait. Hussein hoped that by attacking Kuwait it could lead to a drop in UAE and Kuwait’s oil exports in the world markets. Through this, the UAE is said to have contributed to the Iraq and Kuwait War (Grossman, 1995).
During the Iraq and Iran War, UAE did not participate in the conflicts. However, the Kuwait and Iraq War forced the UAE to join the allied forces in setting free the Kuwaitis from the Iraqis. Before the onset of the war, UAE was among the first Arab countries to oppose the plans by President Saddam Hussein to attack Kuwait.
Its defence forces officials together with American forces designed a plan, which were to prevent Hussein’s forces from attacking Kuwaitis. Two weeks before the operation, UAE and the US conducted an air refuelling preparation program in an effort to warn Hussein’s government against its military desires. During this period, the UAE defence forces provided its military members to play active roles in the Operation Desert Storm.
Through this, the country contributed its air force personnel as pilots. Notably, UAE pilots joined the allied forces in major air attacks across Iraq. Through this effort, Iraq’s infrastructure, communication facilities, military bases, and naval bases were destroyed. Correspondingly, through the combined effort by the UAE forces, American forces, and their allied forces, Iraq’s aircraft and air force facilities were destroyed within the first few weeks of Operation Shield Desert.
Apart from contributing its forces as pilots to the operation, UAE provided more than 2000 forces to fight on the ground. With the effort of these individuals, the allied forces managed to defeat the Iraqi forces on the ground as air raids were being carried out. Most of the ground forces were situated in Kuwait. They were required to prevent Iraqis from returning to Iraq with Kuwait’s properties.
Another way in which UAE contributed to the war was by providing the Americans with military bases. Before this war, the US military bases in the Middle East region were few and ill equipped.
However, during the war between the Kuwait and Iraq the US military presence in the region increased with the setting up of more bases in UAE, Saudi Arabia and other American allied countries in the region (Metz, 1994). From the UAE’s bases, American forces could destroy Iraqis positions very easily. The US and the allied forces’ aircrafts, warships and other military facilities were stationed in the UAE and other US allied nations within the gulf region.
In addition to the above contributions, the UAE government provided the allied forces with financial support during the Kuwait and Iraqi War. According to the country’s defense reports, UAE contributed $3.3 billion towards the liberation of Kuwait during the onset of the war (Metz, 1994). By mid 1991, the country had promised to support countries who were involved in the operation.
Through this, their defense spending reached $6 billion on November 1991. The country initiated this move to help the involved countries recover their economic losses resulting from this operation. To meet these huge military spending, the country increased its oil exports and prices during the period.
When the war ended, UAE had played a very important role in ending the Iraqi and Kuwait War. Similarly, after the war, the country realized that its military defense system was weak. The events of the war enabled the country’s defense department to evaluate their abilities to defend themselves from external attacks.
Get your first paper with 15% OFF
It was noted that the country needed extra military resources to defend themselves and their member states from external military attacks (Rugh, 2002). As a result, the UAE entered into an agreement with the US and the French governments to support its military with skills and equipments.
Grossman, M. (1995). Encyclopedia of the Persian Gulf War. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO.
King, J. (1991). The Gulf War. New York: Dillon Press.
Metz, H. C. (1994). Persian Gulf states: country studies (3rd ed.). Washington, D.C.: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress.
Rugh, W. A. (2002). Diplomacy and defense policy of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.: Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research.